Capt. Tanner speaks at FPST’s Memorial Day ceremony
Area cemeteries also conduct observances for fallen veterans
Capt. Shane Tanner, right, commanding officer at Naval Air Station Fallon, spoke at the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe’s cemetery on Memorial Day. Ashley George, left, and Ernie Hooper, both veterans, gave the invocation.
Photo by Steve Ranson.
Members of the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe who are currently serving or have served in the nation’s military were honored on Memorial Day when Capt. Shane Tanner, commander of Naval Air Station Fallon, recognized their service and sacrifice. Tanner, who was invited to speak at the annual Memorial Day remembrance at the FPST’s cemetery, thanked the 96 men and women who are serving on active duty or who have retired “Your full commitment to this country — for all that it is and all that it can be — resounds across this great land,” Tanner sad.
Steve Ranson/LVN A ceremonial team from Churchill County participates in Memorial Day activities at the Gardens.
The NAS Fallon commander also acknowledged 66 veterans who have died. Tanner said today’s men and women serving in the military face danger from the Western Pacific to Ukraine. He pointed out the threat to peace is real, but he said the country is grateful to those who stand ready to defend its values. On Memorial Day, Tanner said it’s a time to honor the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. “Memorial Day, once known as Decoration Day, started in 1868 when the veterans’ organizations established a day to put flowers on the graves of those who died during the American Civil War,” Tanner said. Tanner explained May was chosen because flowers are in bloom across the United States.
“Today, Memorial Day is a time of somber reflection and profound gratitude as we honor our family and friends who lost their lives in service to their nation,” Tanner said.
To understand the call of service is difficult to explain, Tanner said. He asked what prompts men and women to raise their right hands to take an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution.
Steve Ranson/LVN Cub Scouts from Pack 38 pick up the flags after the Memorial Day observances at the Churchill County Cemetery.
“There is one universal understanding,” Tanner said. “Service means sacrifice.” To those who serve, Tanner said they also deploy overseas to potentially hostile and likely dangerous lands. Tanner said Native Americans have served in the nation’s military since its inception and more than any other ethnic group at a higher proportion of their population. According to the Smithsonian magazine, “More than 44,000 American Indians, out of a total Native American population of less than 400,000, served with distinction between 1941 and 1945 in all theaters of the war (World War II).”
Approximately 10,000 served in Korea from 1950-53.
“More than 42,000 Native Americans fought in Vietnam, more than 90 percent of them volunteers,” the Smithsonian added. “Among the nearly 60,000 names of individuals killed or missing in action on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall are 232 identified as Native Americans or Alaska Natives.”
Steve Ranson/LVN Veterans and volunteers carry into the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery two rucksacks containing almost 7,000 service-member dog tags.
The National Native American Veterans Memorial opened on Nov. 11, 2020, in Washington, D.C. This tribute recognizes Native Americans who serve in every branch of the U.S. military. Every year at the FPST cemetery, the Rev. Ernie Hooper and Elder Ashley George, both veterans, offer the invocation. Members from the various veterans’ organizations in Churchill County place wreaths or flowers at the cemetery’s memorial, a tradition that also occurs at the Churchill County Cemetery and The Gardens Funeral Home’s veterans’ section. A ceremonial team fires a three-volley salute followed by the playing of taps at all three cemeteries. Across the valley in Fernley, an estimated 3,100 people attended the Memorial Day ceremony at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. The Truckee Meadows Veterans Club of TMCC and the University of Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack Veterans completed their Operation Battle Born: Ruck to Remember 2022 march at Fernley in honor of the fallen heroes from the Global War on Terrorism. During three days, veterans and volunteers from all over Nevada carried two rucksacks that shared nearly 7,000 service-member dog tags to include the 58 fallen Nevadans who made the ultimate sacrifice since Sept. 11, 2001. The march began at the Capitol in Carson City.
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